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Friday, August 26, 2016

The Day You Came Into The World

The day you give birth, especially for the first time, is such a life altering event. Regardless of how you give birth, once that tiny human has entered the world everything changes. Relationships and priorities change, bonds are formed and life will never be the same. Even though my own birth story didn't go the way I had hoped, it was still the most important {and memorable} day of my life to date so I wrote it all out in a blog post so I'd remember all the details years later when my memory is hazy. Frances Lalor, a local children's book author, went even further and wrote a book to capture the memory of her birth story for her daughter.

The Day You Came Into The World is written about the birth of Frances' first child. The story uses simple words and scribble like illustrations to take us through the day her daughter arrived, including the anticipation felt beforehand and how everything changed once she was born. Although the sequence of events are slightly different to my own birth story, the sentiments expressed throughout the book are the same as I felt before and after my own daughter was born. The book will be easy for any new parents to relate to as the emotions felt are the same, regardless of the delivery.

At some point in time our kids are inevitably going to ask questions about the day they were born, which can be quite a delicate conversation to have. I know when the time comes for me I don't want to let her know how crazy her delivery was, but I do want her to know that it was the most special day of my life despite all the drama. The Day You Came Into The World makes that conversation much easier to have with children and explains their birthday in a almost fairy tale like way. I've always believed that books play an important role in helping to explain situations to young children. Reading about something in simple words with relevant pictures can help make big concepts so much easier for young children to understand. The book accurately captures the emotions felt by new parents and conveys this very simply in a way that young children will be able to relate to.

The Day You Came Into The World would be a perfect gift for a new mum, at a baby shower or after birth, so they have a special way to explain to their children just how wonderful it was when they came into the world. It even includes a page at the end to record the baby's birth details. The book can be purchased online or find a stockist here. 20% of all book profits are also donated to towards children's hospital foundations to help sick and injured children across Australia. The book also comes beautifully gift wrapped when purchased online which is a lovely added touch.

Did you have a good birth experience, or did things go a bit pear shaped like mine?

Toni x

Disclosure - I was gifted a copy of The Day You Came Into The World for the purpose of review. I did not receive payment for this review.
Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Mummy Must Have Review | Happy Hands Happy Heart Natural Playdough

We're huge fans of playdough in this house, even as an adult I still love playing with it. It's such a great sensory experience and you can't help but want to keep squishing, squashing and moulding it. Playdough was one of the first sensory play ideas I ever tried with bub, back when she was about 15 months old and going to speech therapy, since then it's been an almost daily fixture in our house. The learning and play possibilities with playdough are pretty much endless, it's such a great open ended play medium. We've used it to learn letters, shapes, numbers and colours, as well as practising fine motor skills, developing language and for hours and hours of imaginary play. 

The one thing I don't like about playdough however is when all the colours get mushed up together and become a big ball of poo brown or snot green. You know what I'm talking about right? My OCD just can. not. deal. with. that. at. all. I think that's partially the reason why I've never made my own playdough. Despite the fact I'm a relatively crafty SAHM {I think?} and I've gone and bought all the ingredients for playdough, with the best intentions of actually making it, I just can't bring myself to do it. The thought of creating the perfect colourful, soft, fluffy playdough only to have her smoosh it into a pile of poo goop half an hour later is soul destroying. That probably sounds a bit over the top but seriously I would be having an internal breakdown watching playdough that I made being ruined before my eyes. Perhaps I'll mellow over time, but for now it's just not happening.

Luckily for me {and all the other OCD mums out there} there are plenty of places to buy ready made playdough. I know a lot of mums worry about the possible nasties used in pre-made playdough, but there are many places to buy beautiful homemade, chemical free versions as well. A few months ago I discovered Happy Hands Happy Heart on instagram and immediately fell in love, firstly with the gorgeous playdough creations on their insta feed, and then with the playdough itself when I found out it was all natural.

Happy Hands Happy Heart natural playdough review
Happy Hands Happy Heart {HHHH} is a family run business creating homemade all natural playdough that's taste safe and designed to be visually vibrant and also scented to promote a calm, enjoyable play experience. HHHH are passionate about encouraging creative sensory play and have created playdough that's perfect for play based learning, fine motor skill development and scented to promote well-being and calm.

Happy Hands Happy Heart currently have 9 flavours in their range, including mandarin, blood orange, cinnamon, vanilla, lemon, pink grapefruit, lavender, spearmint and licorice. Each flavour of HHHH playdough is dyed and scented using different fruits and vegetables, herbs and spices and essential oils, so you can rest easy knowing there are no nasty chemicals. We've been playing with the lemon, lavender and licorice flavours and I have to say they smell absolutely divine. I honestly wish you could smell them through the computer {although you might want to lick your screen then}.
Happy Hands Happy Heart lemon, lavender and licorice scented playdough
My favourite of all the flavours we have is lemon, and that's purely because the smell reminds me of lemon meringue pie. I literally sniff the jar a good 5-10 times when we get it out to play with. That's not weird right? It smells sooo yummy! So naturally we play with that one the most. It's a good way to satisfy my need for lemon meringue pie, without actually consuming any calories. 

Lemon meringue playdough
Can we all just take a moment to appreciate this playdough lemon meringue pie Emma from HHHH created...
The Happy Hands Happy Heart playdough is so soft and fluffy, it literally scoops out of the jar like ice-cream. It doesn't have a thick plastic feel like mass produced playdough either, it's so squishy and light and super easy to mould. In fact when we played with it again yesterday bub and I spent a good 15 minutes just squishing finger prints into it because it felt so good. Most of the time though bub likes to roll it with her mini wood rolling pin and make heart cookies with the cookie cutter that came in our set.

I'm also a huge fan of creating what I call playdough stations for bub where I put out a colour of playdough and then a selection of cutters and loose parts for her to use with it {usually in a variety of dip trays}. I often find these playdough stations keep her entertained on and off for hours throughout the day as she comes and goes as she pleases. They're also a wonderful way to ignite her imagination and its always fun to watch what she makes with each of the bits and pieces I leave out for her. One we did recently included the licorice playdough, some black beans, rocks and the mini rolling pin and heart cutter.

Each flavour of HHHH playdough comes in a generous 400g jar, which is more than enough to keep the kids going for a long time. I'm used to tiny 50g tubs so 400g seems enormous. To make it last even longer just give the kids a little bit at a time, that way if it ends up all smooshed together with other colours you still have more in reserve. If you're OCD like me though you'll probably still only give them one colour at a time which means it can easily be put straight back into the jar when they're done playing. The glass jar keeps the playdough nice and air tight, and despite opening and using ours numerous times its still soft and squishy. If it does start drying out though its just a case of adding a few drops of water and moulding it through to make it soft again. HHHH are committed to being as environmentally friendly as possible which is why their playdough comes in a recyclable jar. When you need to restock your playdough you can also return the jar to HHHH to save $1 off your new purchase.

I love that Happy Hands Happy Heart playdough is all natural with no nasties or preservatives so I know its completely safe for bub to use. We've spent hours playing with our few jars already and the playdough is all still in perfect condition. Not to mention it still smells absolutely divine. If your children love playing with playdough, but for whatever reason you don't have the time or inclination to make your own, HHHH really is the next best thing. The Happy Hands Happy Heart playdough is available in single jars or smaller party favour sets from

Do your kids love playing with playdough too?

Toni x

Disclosure - I was provided Happy Hands Happy Heart playdough and accessories for the purpose of review. All opinions expressed are my own based on experience with the products. I did not receive payment for this review.

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